SACE | Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Buy Green Power
What are Green Power Programs?
Green Power Programs are offered by most utilities in the Southeast. These programs offer both business and residential customers an option to pay a surcharge on their monthly utility bill towards the construction of green power projects, which consist of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass. One such project is TVA’s Buffalo Mountain wind farm near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Thanks to SACE’s advocacy and support, Buffalo Mountain became the first commercial scale wind farm in the Southeast when it was established in 2000. Constructed as a source of power for TVA’s green power program, Green Power Switch, Buffalo Mountain currently produces 29 megawatts of power, which can supply electricity for about 3,780 homes.
Green Power Programs Availiable From Your Utility
Typically residential or business customers can purchase green power in blocks of 150-kilowatt-hours (kwh) for four to eight dollars each. Click on your utility from the list below to find out more about its specific green power program:
Why Should I Buy Green Power?
By funding the construction of renewable energy sources, customers help green the overall mix of energy on the grid and consequently lessen our dependence on dirty high risk energy sources. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists each 150 kwh block prevents roughly 300 pounds of carbon from being released into the atmosphere: this is the amount of carbon a coal-fired power plant would emit to produce 150 kwh of power for your home. In addition to mercury, coal plants emit sulfur dioxide and numerous carcinogenic heavy metals into the air and water that have serious, long-term health impacts on local communities.
Buying From Privately Owned Green Power Companies
Many privately owned companies now build or operate renewable energy projects. The resulting energy is then sold to utilities or commercial users. These companies operate using renewable energy credits (REC). A REC is one megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable electricity added to the power grid. RECs do not displace your consumption of non-renewable energy, but act as a mechanism for individuals to support renewable energy projects. By adding to the total amount of renewable energy generated, you are helping to transform the energy mix in the United States.
Green-e Certified Green Power
SACE works with utilities, their regulators and others to develop independently certified green power programs that have the “Green-e” seal of approval. The Center for Resource Solutions oversees the Green-e certification program, the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy.
To learn how you can purchase Green-e certified energy for your home or organization click here.
The EPA has also set up a program to help facilitate green power purchasing called Green Power Partnership. This program supports businesses and organizations interested in buying green power. By working with the EPA and utilizing their expert advice and extensive resources your company can more easily and effectively purchase green power.